North Branford appoints new town manager

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
March 19, 2008

NORTH BRANFORD — The Town Council unanimously appointed Richard Branigan, North Haven’s public works director, as North Branford’s new town manager Tuesday night.

Branigan’s first day on the job is tentatively set for April 21, he said.

The town advertised the position with a salary of $100,000 to $130,000 a year.

Former Town Manager Karl Kilduff, who held the position for about six years, left in January for a job in Darien. Since then, Michael Paulhus, former first selectman in Windham, has been filling in as interim town manager.

Branigan has worked in North Haven since 1990. He first served as assistant director and then director of parks and recreation, before moving into the public works position in 1993.

He said his role as public works director has included experience with economic development, land use and interacting with many town agencies.

“I’ve spent a good portion of my time working with other departments — police, fire and so forth — and working with developers on bringing larger projects to town,” he said before Tuesday’s meeting. “The step from being a public works director to a town manager for me is not as great as it might be for someone else who is a public works director somewhere else because my role has been involved in a lot of different facets.”

Before moving to North Haven, Branigan worked for Danbury and White Plains, N.Y. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Providence College in 1978, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Haven.

Janet McCarty, first selectwoman in North Haven, called Branigan one of the “mainstays” in her administration.

“I have no question that he will be successful (as North Branford town manager), not just because he’s very knowledgeable, but also because he’s incredibly hardworking; he likes challenge and he’s just a really terrific guy,” McCarty said.

Branigan said he is starting the process of moving from North Haven to North Branford, which requires that the town manager live there. He and his wife have lived in North Haven for about 20 years; they have three grown children.

“For me, this is a great opportunity. It’s a professional challenge, (and) it comes at the right time in my career,” he said. “I’m looking at it as a professional opportunity in a great town, which is North Branford, and the town has always had a lot of character and lot of good hardworking people who care about each other.”

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